He’s the youngest and least-experienced of the 5 specialist spinners in England’s 30-man coaching group, however Amar Virdi has insisted he isn’t on the Ageas Bowl to make up the numbers.
Virdi, 21, has solely performed 23 video games in his first-class profession, however has already been a part of a number of England Lions squads and earned spectacular opinions from his coaches at Surrey. And whereas he finds himself behind Jack Leach, Dom Bess and Moeen Ali within the pecking order going into subsequent month’s Check collection towards West Indies, he’s assured that he can push them for a spot within the aspect.
“Obviously I’m here so I want to be playing Test cricket whenever that comes, so I’m going to keep on trying my hardest to make sure that I’m playing,” he mentioned on Friday. “I don’t really try to impress as such – I want to do my own thing and be who I am. That’s what I want to show people and show people what I’m capable of doing, rather than doing other things or try to forcefully show my skills.
“Thus far I’ve simply been myself and simply been bowling and doing all my different abilities. I positively do need to be taking part in within the first Check match, or at the least be within the squad. If I did not need to do this I in all probability should not be right here. I am very happy with myself that I’ve received to this stage. The subsequent stage is about pushing for a Check place, so every time that does occur I’ll preserve working onerous.”
Virdi’s new head coach at Surrey, Vikram Solanki, sung his praises last week, describing him as a “very attacking bowler” with “some actual ability”. His statistics in his first-class career to date back that up: his strike rate of a wicket every 51.9 balls is bettered only by Simon Harmer and Keshav Maharaj in Division One of the County Championship over the last three years.
“In my set-up as a bowler, it is a elementary factor. I feel you have to be aggressive and you have to be seeking to take wickets. Perhaps the pitches aren’t all the time going to be suited to you however as a spinner even if you’re seeking to preserve it tight, my eyes are all the time on taking wickets regardless.
“Obviously being young, I’m still learning my skills and getting better at my skills, so you will bowl the odd loose ball or you might not get six balls in the perfect space. But I think you’ll bowl a lot more wicket-taking deliveries and that’s what makes you dangerous: when a batsman knows that you can get them out on any wicket.”
It’s value remembering that it was solely a yr in the past that Virdi was not being thought of for choice at county degree attributable to his health ranges falling beneath an appropriate customary. He was shown some “tough love” by power and conditioning coach Daz Veness, in response to director of cricket Alec Stewart, and has taken his new regime very critically. He even took a swig from a protein shake-branded water bottle throughout Friday’s digital press convention, as if to drive house the purpose.
“I don’t think I’d be here if that didn’t happen,” he mentioned. “I probably didn’t put as much focus on that part of my game as I should have, and it probably took something like that to understand how important it was. If that didn’t happen, I would have struggled then progressing to the next level.
“It is had a big effect on my bowling and the whole lot like that,” he said. “I am hitting most of these minimal requirements and now it is a case of constructing positive I am match sufficient to play the sport and ensuring that even after a protracted day’s play I am able to go the following day and that is key for me particularly desirous to play Check cricket.”
England’s 30-man squad has been split into two groups for training, to help manage its bloated size. Virdi has found himself in the same group as two of his rivals for a Test spot – Moeen and Matt Parkinson – and said he has felt the benefits of working with Moeen already.
“He is positively a seasoned spinner. It is simply how free persons are with their recommendation. You may ask no matter you need and so they’ll all the time strive that can assist you as a lot as doable. No matter alternative I’ve had previously, I’ve all the time tried to ask him a couple of questions. Chatting with him and bowling with him within the nets has been actually good.
“I really enjoy watching Moeen bowl now. That’s been really good to see how he goes about his business, and he’s a great help in the nets. Whenever you’re around him he’s always helpful [and] gives you advice.”